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IOC: Olympic Host Cities Must Be Safe for LGBT Participants

IOC: Olympic Host Cities Must Be Safe for LGBT Participants

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Following the controversy around holding the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, with its anti-LGBT policies and environment, the International Olympic Committee takes a stand against discrimination.

The International Olympic Committee this week took an important step toward welcoming LGBT athletes and fans at the Olympic Games , announcing it has added an antidiscrimination clause to its host city contract, U.K. site Pink News reports. The announcement comes as an indirect response to concerns leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, about the well-being of LGBT people in a country marred by intolerance.

Principle 6 of the Olympic Charter does not as of yet ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but it does state that discrimination in general is "incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement." The antidiscrimination clause added to the host country contract reflects this philosophy, said IOC spokesman Mark Adams.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Olympic Committee amended its code of conduct to expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in October 2013.

FIFA, the international governing body of the World Cup, is also feeling pressure from LGBT rights groups to consider the safety of LGBT fans and players as it make its host country selections. The 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups are currently slated to be held in Russia and Qatar, respectively. Both countries have antigay laws on the books.

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